Lazare Kaplan reports a 25 percent increase in sales for the fourth quarter

Lazare Kaplan International Inc. said Friday that for the fiscal year and fourth quarter, net sales were $528 million and $135 million, an increase of 25 percent and 4 percent, respectively, compared to the same periods last year.

The New York City-based company said increase in net sales for the fiscal year and fourth quarter 2006 reflects increased sourcing and distribution of rough diamonds partially offset by lower sales of polished diamonds.

Polished diamond gross margin for the fiscal year and fourth quarter (ended May 31) was 13.8 percent and 11.3 percent, respectively, compared to 16.2 percent and 15.9 percent for the comparable periods in the prior fiscal year.

Rough diamond gross margin for the fiscal year and fourth quarter was 2.4 percent and 2.1 percent, compared to 3.5 percent and 2.3 percent for the same periods in the prior year.

Net income for the fiscal year and fourth quarter was $1.5 million and $0.5 million, or, compared to $5.2 million and $0.6 million in the comparable periods last year.

Lazare Kaplan International Inc. sells its diamond and jewelry products through a worldwide distribution network. The company is noted for its ideal cut diamonds which it markets internationally under the brand name, Lazare Diamonds.